Miranda Lambert and Carrie Underwood Are First Pair of Solo Women Up for CMA Entertainer of the Year Since 1979
When the full list of 2020 CMA Awards nominations was released on Tuesday (Sept. 1), the show's Entertainer of the Year category delivered a milestone: It's the first time since 1979 that two solo female acts are up for the night's most coveted trophy.
Carrie Underwood and Miranda Lambert will be vying for the CMA's highest honor alongside Eric Church, Keith Urban and Luke Combs in 2020. Both Underwood and Lambert have been nominated for Entertainer of the Year before, but never at the same time, and neither of them has ever won in the category. Lambert has been in the running three times before (in 2010, 2014 and 2015), while Underwood was nominated in 2016 and 2019.
The last time two solo women artists went head to head for the CMA's Entertainer of the Year trophy was at the 1979 CMA Awards, when Crystal Gayle and Barbara Mandrell were both nominated. Ultimately, they were both edged out by Willie Nelson.
In the decades since, there have been plenty of women who were the solo female contenders in their year's batch of Entertainer of the Year nominees. Reba McEntire dominated the back half of the '80s and front half of the '90s, and even went head to head against the Judds on three occasions. However, while the Judds are an all-female group, they're not a solo act.
Aside from the Judds, the lone all-female group to make an appearance in the category is the Chicks; in fact, they made the nominees list in 2000 alongside Faith Hill and won the category that year.
Prior to 2020, the 2000 CMA Awards ballot was the most recent to feature two solo women or all-female groups in the running for Entertainer of the Year. In the two decades following that awards show, most Entertainer of the Year ballots featured either Lambert, Underwood or Taylor Swift, or no women at all.
Sugarland were nominated for CMA Entertainer trophy in 2008, and Lady A were nominated alongside Lambert in 2010. However, both of those acts are comprised of both male and female artists.
The 2020 CMA Awards are set for Nov. 11, and will air live from Nashville on ABC. A host or co-hosts for the big show have not yet been announced.
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